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News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

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U.s. 20, United States 12, Iran 9, London 8, Nhk 6, China 6, Tokyo 6, Hiroshima 6, Panasonic 4, U.n. 4, John Roos 4, Eu 4, Olympics 3, South Korea 3, Russia 3, Pakistan 3, Islamabad 3, India 3, Obama Administration 2, Hiroshima Peace Memorial 2,
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  PBS    Newsline    News/Business. World events, business news and  
   weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)  

    July 28, 2010
    7:00 - 7:30pm PDT  

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hello there, and welcome. it's thursday july 29th in tokyo. i'm catherine kobayashi with your updates. japan is set to impose new sanctions on iran following similar moves by the united states and the european union. iran has failed to comply with international demands to halt its nuclear development program. last month the u.n. security council adopted a resolution imposing additional sanctions on the country. the measures include a partial ban on financial transactions.
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the united states followed up by announcing its own sanctions earlier this month, including a ban on the export of petroleum products. the eu decided this week to ban new investment in iran's energy sector. japan, which imports crude oil from iran, had been wary of imposing its own punishments. but the government apparently felt the need to show solidarity with the u.s. and eu following the latest u.n. resolution. japan's new sanctions will likely include tighter monitoring of financial transactions with iran and targeting more businesses for an asset freeze. a draft of the new penalties is expected by the end of next month. the united states says its ambassador to japan, john roos, will attend a ceremony marking the 1945 atomic bombing of hiroshima. ambassador roos will be the first u.s. official to attend the memorial. >> ambassador john roos will represent the united states at
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the august 6 hiroshima peace memorial to express respect for all of the victims of world war ii. >> assistant secretary of state philip crowley said the u.s. government thought the ambassador's attendance was the right thing to do. hiroshima has been inviting all countries with nuclear weapons to attend the ceremony since 1998. but the united states had not accepted the invitation. in an interview with nhk last november president barack obama said he wants to visit hiroshima and nagasaki during his presidency. but observers say many people in the u.s. oppose the idea of the president visiting the atomic bombed cities. the u.s. ambassador's attendance is seen as an effort by the obama administration to show its commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. a russian nuclear submarine scrapped after an accident 25 years ago has been moved to a shipyard near the far eastern port city of vladivostok for
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dismantling. russia's nuclear agency, rosatom on wednesday transported the submarine using floats from its mooring site in an inlet in the russian far east 30 kilometers away. in january the agency decided to dismantle the nuclear submarine, saying there was no danger of radioactive pollution. in 1985, during the cold war, an explosion occurred when the submarine, called "echo ii," was being refueled at a soviet navy base in the sea of japan. ten crew members were killed and 290 are thought to have been exposed to radiation. the soviet government had never revealed details of the accident on grounds that they were top military secrets. the sub had been kept off limits since the accident. dismantling work will continue until november, but the reactor, which is still highly radioactive, will remain sealed and kept at a nearby facility. now for a business update with ines matsuyama.
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ines? >> thank you very much, catherine. the u.s. central bank says the american economy has continued to grow overall but the pace of growth has slowed in some districts. that's a slight downgrade from the bank's previous assessment. the federal reserve released its latest beige book survey of business sentiment on wednesday. it shows economic activity slowing in june and july in 2 of the 12 federal reserve districts in the country. they are the midwestern region of chicago and the southern region of atlanta. by industry the report says activity in residential real estate was sluggish in most districts due to the expiration of a tax credit for home buyers. it says manufacturing activity slowed or leveled off in some districts. in the retail sector the report cites a fall in auto sales in recent weeks. fed chairman ben bernanke said in his congressional testimony last week the outlook for the u.s. economy is unusually uncertain. tokyo stocks fell on
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thursday morning as investors locked in gains following wednesday's surge of more than 250 points. but the nikkei 225 at least ended on the dot at 9,700 points, down half a percent. investors took their cue from the u.s. central bank's latest economic assessment, suggesting the american recovery may be losing steam. and the dollar is losing ground against the yen on thursday morning. investors are cautious about the outlook for the u.s. economy. the dollar is now trailing at 87.28-30. the euro is at 113.36-41. market sources say falling u.s. production figures released on wednesday are prompting dollar selling. and here's a look at the latest long-term interest rates. this is the yield on the benchmark ten-year japanese government bond. in other asian markets hong kong's hang seng opened flat. it's now down 0.3%. the shanghai key index for major
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blue chips is up half a percent. and in shenzhen the sse composite is up 0.3%. japan's electronics maker panasonic is moving toward full ownership of two of its subsidiaries. its aim is to boost earnings with a new business in energy-efficient homes. sources say panasonic will launch a bid for all the remaining shares of its subsidiary sanyo electric and panasonic electricworks by april next year. it currently holds a majority stake in both firms. while earnings at panasonic are on the mend overall, profits in its mainstay home appliances such as tvs have been falling due to fierce price competition. that has raised the urgency for collaboration to capitalize on its subsidiaries' relative strength. sanyo electric will provide solar and other energy-related technologies, and panasonic electricworks will share its residential market expertise. a top u.s. trade official
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has again urged japan to scrap its restrictions on u.s. beef imports. speaking to reporters in a briefing on wednesday, trade representative ron kirk said the united states is exceptionally frustrated with japan's restrictions on u.s. beef. japan currently bans imports of u.s. beef from cattle age 21 month or older. the age group most likely to be affected by bse, or mad cow disease. kirk said he understands the political dynamics in japan of the recent change in political leadership, but he describes the current import ban as unscientific and says it should be scrapped for that reason. kirk referred to south korea's ban on imports of u.s. beef from cattle aged 31 month or older. he said restrictions that are stricter than this are not acceptable. now back to the main news with catherine. >> thanks very much, ines. pakistan's aviation authority is investigating wednesday's passenger plane
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crash near islamabad say poor weather may be to blame. survivors have yet to be found. the airblue airbus carrying 152 people heading for islamabad from karachi in the south crashed into a hilly area north of the pakistani capital as it prepared to land. with the exception of two americans all the passengers are believed to be pakistani. heavy rain fell intermittently around islamabad throughout wednesday, while fog formed in the mountainous region. poor visibility forced some islamabad-bound international flights to land at an airport in eastern pakistan. aviation authorities are rushing to retrieve the flight recorder and also questioning ground controllers to shed full light onto the accident. the united states and south korea say they plan to keep up pressure on north korea. the two countries wrapped up joint military exercises in the sea of japan on wednesday and say they will continue holding them on a regular basis.
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some 20 u.s. navy vessels and 8,000 soldiers took part in the drill, one of the largest ever conducted in that region. at the center of the maneuvers was the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the "uss george washington." the u.s. also deployed its f-22 fighter jets for the first time in exercises on the korean peninsula. the drill was in response to the march sinking of a south korean warship in the yellow sea. the u.s. and south korea believe a north korean submarine hit the vessel with a torpedo. the two allies had initially planned to carry out the exercise in the yellow sea, but they changed the venue to the sea of japan because of strong opposition from china. a powerful gas explosion in eastern china has killed 12 people and injured more than 100. china's central television says the blast occurred at an abandoned plastics factory in
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nanjing on wednesday morning. the 12 killed include workers who were dismantling the factory. investigators suspect that the explosion was caused by a fire at an underground gas pipeline on the factory premises. a bus passing by the factory also caught fire, injuring passengers. a japanese shipping company is investigating whether an explosion on one of its oil tankers was the result of an attack. mitsui osk line said a minor explosion occurred on wednesday in waters off the arabian peninsula. the 160,000-ton m star tanker was headed for japan from the united arab emirates along the waterway between iran and oman. the blast reportedly occurred near a lifeboat at the ship's stern, shattering nearby windows and dislodging doors. one crew member from india sustained minor injuries to his arm. the company suspects the vessel may have come under attack, saying a crew member reported seeing a light near the ship just before the explosion.
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the oil tanker later returned to a port in the uae. the operator is to report its findings to japan's transport ministry. a company official has told nhk it is unlikely that the large-scale tanker could have suffered an explosion on its own accord. july 27th marked the start of the two-year countdown to the opening of the london olympic games against the backdrop of the european debt crisis. so how are the preparations going? our reporter craig thompson from london has the details. >> reporter: the olympic flag passed from beijing to london two years ago. china felt its prestige was at stake when beijing hosted a lavish olympics. in contrast, london is planning a smaller, less extravagant event. compact is now the key word. construction at the olympic park begun two years ago. shortly afterwards, the collapse of lehman brothers hit the world. the ensuing debt crisis has
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created a very difficult financial climate. >> this country cannot afford it, no. >> from what i know, the olympics are never a money maker. so it's usually a loss. >> reporter: the british government is allocating about $13 billion for olympic infrastructure projects. with deficit reduction high on its agenda, the british government has cut the olympic budget by about $40 million. this budget may be trimmed even further. the main stadium is the icon of the compact, budget-minded olympics that london is planning to host. the stadium will accommodate up to 80,000 people but will not stay that size after the games. >> the upper tiers, which you can see 55,000, all of those could just be taken away. >> reporter: instead, the 55,000-seat upper tier will be dismantled, creating a
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25,000-seat stadium. >> the design of the stadium is a very simple concept. it was to make sure that whatever we left behind after the games had a life. and that's why we were very clear that to design a stadium for use afterwards would mean some creative thinking. >> reporter: britain has learned from the experiences of past olympic hosts, who have often incurred hefty costs in order to provide luxury facilities. in contrast to beijing, london aims to show the world how to host an austere olympics. however, the hope will be to hold the games with the same high level of passion and devotion to the olympic ideal. craig thomson, nhk world, london. >> the london olympics will feature events in 26 categories, two fewer than the beijing games.
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japanese diners looking for a cheap meal are in luck as a price war among japanese gyudon beef bowl restaurant chains heats up. japan's leading gyudon restaurant chain, yoshinoya holdings, is offering its mainstay regular bowl at $3.10 for one week, starting wednesday. that's about $1.30 cheaper than the usual price. in the beef bowl restaurant industry zensho, which operates the nationwide chain sukiya, cut the price of its regular beef bowl by 10% until august 9th, while another chain, matsuia foods, will offer special markdowns starting on thursday. this price competition among gyudon chains is expected to spill over into other food
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providers including convenience stores and box lunch chains that are also aiming to attract more customers. in japan's sweltering summer heat continues with no signs of letting up. the heat wave has turned out to be a boon for many businesses as consumers seek products to help make the hot, muggy days more bearable. nhk world's yaoko yamada has more. >> reporter: daily highs continue to reach well above 30 degrees celsius nationwide. since mid july the mercury in some regions was just shy of 40 degrees. the weather bureau announced this summer is hotter than usual. i'm in the center of shibuya, one of tokyo's busiest districts. the thermometer i have right here shows 38.9 degrees celsius. as you can see behind me, people are doing all they can to avoid the sun.
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consumers can't seem to get enough goods to protect themselves from the summer heat. retailers have seen strong sales of items such as sun block creams and sprays for lowering the temperature of shirts. a scarf that holds an ice pocket is a popular chilling item too. this retailer says sales for these cooling products jumped three times from the previous months. >> translator: summer goods are selling well, thanks to the heat wave. we have no complaints about the weather. >> reporter: home appliance stores are also doing well in their air-conditioner sales. they are packed with customers even during the day on weekdays. sales staff from other floors are pitching in to help.
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>> translator: the temperature shot up after the rainy season ended earlier this month. air-conditioner sales are up two to three times from a year ago. >> reporter: of course, business is good at drinking places, too. the popular item at this bar is extra cold beer. it is chilled to below freezing point at minus 2 degrees celsius. after work people line up for up to two hours to wind down with this super chilled beer. the bar says since it opened in june 20,000 customers have quenched their thirst. >> reporter: a new service linked to the temperature has also appeared. a business hotel in tokyo offers
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a discount that is directly tied to the daytime high announced by the weather bureau. this room for two would normally cost about $300 a night. but if the day's highest temperature was, say, 33 degrees celsius, the guests would get a 33% discount. the hotel says it has been getting more reservations since it started the service. >> translator: customers don't know how much the room will be until they check in. they seem to be quite excited. >> reporter: a private research firm says consumer spending goes up by nearly $5 billion when average temperatures climb by one degree in tokyo and osaka. that will translate into a 0.3% increase in gross domestic product from july through september. as the heat wave is expected to continue for some time, businesses are sure to come up with more cool ideas to
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stimulate demand. nahoko yamada, nhk world. next is a recap of the latest market figures. ♪ ♪ >> and that's all for now in biz news. next is the weather forecast with sumi zushi.
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hi there. time now for your world weather update again. let's take a look at asia, first of all. you can see active rain clouds covering much of japan. it is a pretty wet day here. we've got systems moving in from the west and also heavy rain moving in from the south, just progressing northward. now, we've had reports of over 300 millimeters falling in some of these western areas. the heavy rain is going to continue to pound central and northern portions in the next 24 hours. so flooding and landslides are going to be a major concern here. hopefully, though, it will help to cool things down. as for china, looking at much of china in the dry today. some lingering showers over to the northeast. rain in the south is fairly confined. but it does continue to bring heavy rain to the southern coast as well as the southwestern portion of the country. and it has actually caused quite a bit of havoc in the area. we're going to take a look at
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some footage coming out of hong kong just to show you the situation here. you can see heavy rains caused flash flooding, inundated homes, and caused several landslides in the area on wednesday afternoon. over 140 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in just a few hours. officials issued what's called a black rainstorm warning, and in places like clearwater bay floodwaters rose to over a meter. so it is a very serious situation here and looks like heavy rain will continue for you in the afternoon. the southwestern monsoon is also affecting places like india and pakistan. we've got torrential rains falling along the southwestern coast of india and of course up in pakistan as well we have a very active low pressure system. that continues to dump drenching rain in the area. we've got rain and thunderstorms forecast to continue well into the weekend. and just in the last 24 hours as
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well received up to 170 millimeters, which is four times the amount of average monthly rainfall. so landslides, mudslides, and flooding are going to be a major concern. of course, this is what's caused the poor weather conditions on wednesday as well. temperaturewise, it is going to be hot in china today. 38 degrees in chongqing. 36 in beijing. and coming in at 35 in shanghai. finally, taking a look at europe, well, central europe and southern europe, i should say, are going to be in for some heavy rain today. you can see that frontal system. eastern portions of the continent. that will hopefully help to cool things down in western parts of russia. there you can see that entry in moscow. let's take a look at the temperatures, then. still very hot, though, for your thursday. 38 degrees. but considerable cooling is
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expected on friday. on wednesday, though, it is -- thursday, i should say, it is still going to be very, very foggy in the city with sweltering heat and bad air quality. down in the southwest still contending with heat wave as well. 39 degrees in madrid and 34 in lisbon. here's your extended forecast now. ♪ ♪
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♪ taking a look at our top stories once again, japan is set to impose new sanctions on iran following similar moves by the united states and the european union. iran has failed to comply with international demands to shauha its nuclear development program. last month the u.n. security council adopted a resolution imposing additional sanctions on the country. the measures include a partial ban on financial transactions.
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the united states followed up by announcing its own sanctions earlier this month, including a ban on the export of petroleum products. the eu decided this week to ban new investment in iran's energy sector. japan, which imports crude oil from iran, had been wary of imposing its own punishments. but the government apparently felt the need to show solidarity with the u.s. and eu following the latest u.n. resolution. japan's new sanctions will likely include tighter monitoring of financial transactions with iran and targeting more businesses for an asset freeze. a draft of the new penalties is expected by the end of next month. the united states says its ambassador to japan, john roos, will attend a ceremony marking the 1945 atomic bombing of hiroshima. ambassador roos will be first -- will be the first u.s. official to attend the memorial. >> ambassador john roos will
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represent the united states at the august 6 hiroshima peace memorial to express respect for all of the victims of world war ii. >> assistant secretary of state philipp crowley said the u.s. government thought the ambassador's residence -- or attendance was the right thing to do. hiroshima has been inviting all countries with nuclear weapons to attend the ceremony since 1998. but the united states had not accepted the invitation. in an interview with nhk last november, president barack obama said he wants to visit hiroshima and nagasaki during his presidency. but observers say many people in the u.s. oppose the idea of the president visiting the atomic bombed cities. the u.s. ambassador's attendance is seen as an effort by the obama administration to show its commitment to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. a russian nuclear submarine scrapped after an accident 25 years ago has been moved to a shipyard near the far eastern
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port city of vladivostok for dismantling. russia's nuclear energy rosatom on wednesday transported the submarine using floats from its mooring site in an inlet in the russian far east, 30 kilometers away. in january the agency decided to dismantle the nuclear submarine, saying there was no danger of radioactive pollution. in 1985, during the cold war, an explosion occurred when the submarine, called "echo ii," was being refueled at a soviet navy base in the sea of japan. ten crew members were killed, and 290 are thought to have been exposed to radiation. the soviet government had never revealed details of the accident on grounds that they were top military secrets. the sub had been kept off limits since the accident. now, dismantling work will continue until november, but the reactor, which is still highly radioactive, will remain sealed and kept at a nearby facility. and that wraps up this
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edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.
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